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Flying Fish, the Unmanned Seaplane

Dr Ella Atkins, Associate Professor
University of Michigan
United States
This presentation was given at Electric Vehicles Land, Sea & Air Europe 2011 on Jun 29, 2011.


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Presentation Summary

1. The Flying Fish project: Design, construction, and flight testing
2. An avionics package for autonomous drift/flight management
3. Open-water deployment challenges and solutions:
  • Autonomous takeoff and landing
  • Solar energy harvesting
  • An unexpected air data sensing issue
4. Remaining challenges & future missions for an "unattended" energy-harvesting seaplane

Speaker Biography (Ella Atkins)

Dr. Ella Atkins is an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan where she directs the Autonomous Aerospace Systems Lab. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on autonomous fault-tolerant flight management systems, and she has collaboratively designed, built, and flight-tested novel unmanned seaplane (Flying Fish), flexible wing (X-HALE), aerobatic, and flapping wing aircraft. Dr. Atkins is an Associate Fellow of AIAA and a small public airport owner/operator (Shamrock Field, Brooklyn, Michigan).

Company Profile (University of Michigan)

The University of Michigan is a major education and research institution.
The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.



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